The Hangover (***½)

Posted on June 27th, 2009 in Commentary,Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy
We call this "The Loser Bench"

We call this "The Loser Bench"

It would not be possible for me to recommend “The Hangover” highly enough.  This movie is laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end, and is driven by the script, the story, and the situations, not by “stars”.  Hollywood has gotten lazy about making deals instead of making movies, and have developed a pattern of putting A-list stars into films with mediocre scripts and huge advertising budgets, and just expecting us to show up because we don’t know any better.

Well, now you know better, at least about this film.  Parts of it are raunchy, but that’s not its purpose – the raunch is essential to the plot.  And the plot sounds hackneyed, but it is *not*.  This is the story of four friends who go to Las Vegas for a bachelor weekend to send off one of their group.  They plan to spend the night doing anything and everything, and then leaving it all behind because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

The film starts conventionally, setting up the four main characters – Phil the school teacher (Bradley Cooper), who feels trapped by his wife and family and thinks nothing of pilfering his students’ field trip money to embiggen his Vegas stake; Stu the dentist (Ed Helms), whose harpy girlfriend is the distillation of every man’s worst nightmare; Doug the groom (Justin Bartha), the nice guy marrying the nice girl and whose nice families are nice; and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) the…the…cipher? …the…uh…weirdo? …er…pedophile? …um…genius??  Well, Alan is a puzzle as it’s hard to describe a man who is legally restricted from getting with 200 feet of a school (or a Chuckie Cheese), who learns card counting from a book and scores a bundle at the tables, who wonders if Caesar ever really lived at Caeser’s Palace, who blames Al Qaeda for society’s intolerance of masturbating on a commercial airliner, and who actually seems like a nice, if misunderstood (or un-understandable) guy.

These four borrow the prospective father-in-law’s classic convertible Mercedes and head across the desert to get their groove on in Vegas.  After they check-in to the hotel and do Jäger shots on the roof, the story flashes forward to the next morning, when Phil, Stu and Alan wake up to a Gordian knot of repercussions from the previous nights festivities.  Their $4,000/night suite is a wreck, a rooster struts and clucks among the carnage, there’s a baby in the closet, a tiger in the bathroom, and Doug is missing (and so is one of Stu’s teeth).

The rest of the film is the story of them trying to remember what happened so they can find Doug and get him to the church on time.  They piece the night together from clues and guesses, and retrace their steps on their quest for Doug.  And their path was long and winding, as well as outrageously hilarious.  I won’t go into any more details, but let’s just say that the movie deserves a

Drag Me to Hell (*)

Posted on May 31st, 2009 in Entertainment,Movie Reviews by mynagirl
Gimme my $3.50 matinee ticket price back!!

Gimme my $3.50 matinee ticket price back!!

What a terrible waste of an afternoon out of the house!  At least we ate sushi.

When the ad campaign for Drag Me to Hell came out a few weeks ago, I was cautiously optimistic.  Over the years, Engineerboy has educated me in the way of Sam and Ivan Raimi: Evil DeadEvil Dead II, and even Army of Darkness.  Hilarious, silly, fun, campy, sly horror.  Classics.  I’ll watch them any time they come on cable.  Who can resist … uh… deciduous molestation, anyway?  And Raimi’s a big-time director now, and the three Spidey films to his credit have given him the stick in Hollywood to go back to his old schtick.   

If only he had. 

Drag Me To Hell isn’t a fun, campy Raimi flick.  It isn’t even a straight-up good fright of a horror movie.  There elements of each are there, but you can’t just toss frozen beef and an uncut carrot into a pan and call it stew.  Nor can you splash some wine and lob a cupcake in the pot and hope it makes a whole meal.  A movie’s only campy if you commit to it and have some humor.  If you play it straight, even a little bit, the campy parts become lame.  At the same time, you lose your ability to do effective horror if you kowtow to the current market and, pardon the vulgarity, pussy out with a PG-13 rating, unless you’re really really creative.  

And this movie wasn’t.  Give me some exploding intestines, give me chopped up brains, if it’s straight up horror I’m okay with it.  (Although the best horror movies show some of the least, à la Jaws and Aliens).  But seriously?  This stuff?

Spoilers, blah blah blah…

A gypsy curse, really?  A fortune teller?  A girl who’s thin now but used to be fat as a kid?  Animal sacrifice?  The “I’m a Mac” guy?  (Actually he wasn’t bad with what they gave him to work with). 

I won’t even bother to detail the plot to great length, it’s so pedestrian.  Aspiring-career-girl-not-good-enough-for-rich-boyfriend’s-family, bank, gypsy, foreclosure,  tough moral decision, curse.  It’s exactly what you expect of throwaway PG-13 marketed-to-teens crappy-ass pseudo-horror dreck.  The soundtrack is obviously ominous to a fault, with omnipresent screeching Eastern European violins.  The girl hears weird sounds but oh it’s just a rusty gate.  On the path to her $2 million dollar rusticly completely furnished adorable house above the LA hills.  Oh but wait it’s the wind.  Oh wait it’s really the ghost of what must be the devil, because it’s a shadow with horns.   Oh, it breaks windows.  Yawn.

Then here comes the stuff that I couldn’t watch, the only way you can make PG-13 horror: the gross-out crap.  Ok, maggots,  fly in the sinuses, kinda creepy, we’ll allow it.  But the old lady’s body spewing embalming fluid all down the girl’s mouth?  (From which girl stands up shocked and marvelously

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (***)

Posted on May 25th, 2009 in Commentary,Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy
Honest(ly huge) Abe

Honest(ly huge) Abe

We had never seen the first movie in this series, Night at the Museum, but ended up watching it a couple of days before going to see the new installment, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.  We found the first movie to be enjoyable and forgettable, but funny enough that we decided to go out and see the sequel this weekend.

Battle of the Smithsonian is, quite enjoyably, more of the same, but on a larger scale.  Many of the familiar characters from the first film are back again, and a host of new characters are added.  Also, this film takes place across the campus of the Smithsonian museum buildings, and makes sure to pull some of the personality of the museum itself into the mix.  Smithsonian isn’t trying to hide a history lesson inside a Ben Stiller action-comedy, far from it.  There are historical references, many of which will fly over the heads of the young target audience, like Sputnik.

For example, at one point in the film a couple of the characters step into the life-size print of the famous Life magazine photo of a returning sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square.  The characters wander around Times Square chased by Egyptian spearmen, and eventually step back into the Smithsonian.  Unfortunately, one of the characters has dropped his cell phone in the crowds, and a young serviceman picks it up and shouts after him that, hey, mister, you dropped your…whatever this thing is.  Later, over the end credits, we see that same young serviceman working at an electronics bench in the 40’s, and his mother calling him to dinner from the other room.  He tells her just a minute, he thinks he’s onto something, and she shouts back with the unbending will of mom’s everywhere and says, “You put down whatever that is and you get in here right this minute, Joey Motorola!”  There was a row of about a dozen 8-10 year old boys sitting in front of us, and they all spun around and stared at us when we cracked up at that line.

There are also Tuskegee airmen, simian astronauts, gangsters, Tsars, emporers, huns, painting subjects, and even NASA mission control techs (played by Clint Howard, who has recognizably played such techs in many other films) that will resonate much more deeply with older audience members, but which also provide an extra layer of humor apart from yet another predictable round of slapping the monkey.

The story of the current installment is that Kahmunrah, the evil older brother Ahkmenrah, has come to steal the magic plate from his younger brother.  The plate is what brings all the museum characters to life between sunset and sunrise each night.  Kahmunrah knows that the plate can be used to summon the army of the dead and allow him to take over both the day and night-time worlds.  It’s up to Larry Daley (Ben Stiller)

Star Trek (***½)

Posted on May 8th, 2009 in Commentary,Engineerboy,Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Boldly Going Again

We saw the new Star Trek movie today (opening night), and it was fantastic.  To give some context, I’m an old geezer and religiously watched the original Star Trek series during its initial run, and many more times in syndication.  I’ve seen the Star Trek movies that included the original cast.  I never really got into any of the subsequent Trek series, films, fanfic, spin-offs, books, conventions, etc, so I’m not a slavish Trek nerd, but I’m an old guard, indigenous Trek fan.

And coming from that perspective, my take is that J.J. Abrams did a great job of refreshing and updating the original Star Trek series with this prequel, and he was both faithful to the original and also daring enough to make changes in what felt to be a near-perfect proportion.  The new cast, playing younger versions of the original characters, do a pitch-perfect job of capturing the essence of their characters without seeming like they are doing imitations. 

The Original Star Trek (TOST) has been around for so long that I was skeptical that it could be refreshed in any meaningful way.  However, this new episode should jump-start a whole new incarnation of the franchise.  I can tell you that I’m excitedly awaiting the next film in this series, after having seen this version once a few hours ago. 

WARNING: Spoiler ahead, don’t read any further if you don’t want to know anything about the plot.
The film starts with a sequence that includes the birth of James T. Kirk, and I have to say that it was so well done that I got a bit misty-eyed.  As the film progresses we see early scenes of many of the main characters, prior to their meeting each other.  Eventually, fate plays a hand and puts *most* of them aboard the Enterprise, albeit not in their familiar roles/ranks, at least not initially.  However, by the end of the film, all of the key characters from TOST are present and accounted for (and in their correct roles).

In between there is a reasonably engaging story that involves time travel, the destruction of one character’s home planet, a meetup between a character’s new incarnation and their older self played by the original actor, dealing with a vengeful enemy, and unexpected love blooming.  The action and effects sequences are superbly well-done, and don’t jolt you out of your enjoyment like so many other of Hollywood’s expensive-yet-clumsy digital effects behemoths.  This film is more along the lines of Iron Man, where the effects serve only to enhance the story, never to *be* the story or distract you from the storytelling.

All of the new cast members inhabit their characters fully, and capture the essence of the original characters beautifully.  I didn’t quite buy Chris Pine as Kirk for the first few scenes, but by the end, in my mind, he *was* Kirk – and it’s hard to consider anyone but Shatner as Kirk.  But Pine

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (***)

Posted on January 20th, 2009 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy
Not-Lean, Not-Mean, Protecting Machine

Not-Lean, Not-Mean, Protecting Machine

I was in the mood to watch a movie this weekend, but nothing at any of the nearby theaters was really grabbing at me.  I’d seen the ads for Paul Blart: Mall Cop and chuckled a bit, and I think Kevin James is a naturally funny guy, so I figured I’d give it a shot even though it looked like it might be a throwaway.  I’m glad I did.

This film is almost exactly what you’d expect – Paul Blart is a mall cop, he’s a loveable loser, he takes his job much more seriously than is called for, and when trouble invades the mall he has a chance to redeem himself and become the hero.  Think of it as a comedic homage to Die Hard, set in a New Jersey mall, only the cop (uh, make that security officer)  doesn’t have a gun and the bad guys ride skateboards and bikes.

You see, Paul Blart dreams of joining the New Jersey State Police.  He’s a big guy, but he’s in shape, he’s not dumb, and the only reason he can’t qualify is that his hypoglycemia causes him to fall asleep at random times.  So he takes all of his drive to protect and serve and uses it in his job as a mall cop.

In his home life he’s trying his best to raise a daughter as a single dad, and his daughter and his mother provide moral support for his career and aspirations.  His fellow security guards are mostly just clock punchers who don’t take their work nearly as seriously as Paul.  Then, on Black Friday, a group of thieves take over the mall hoping to make a big score, and Paul gets trapped inside as the only peace officer that can help free the hostages and catch the bad guys.

Let’s just say that action and comedy ensue from there.  There is very little violence, and no cursing, bloodshed, or nudity/sexuality to speak of, other than the surprisingly genuine spark between Paul Blart and kiosk-worker Amy (played by the perky Jayma Mays).  And the good news is that all of the funny bits are not revealed in the trailer.

And that’s the key – Paul Blart: Mall Cop is FUNNY and the story is reasonably engaging for a comedy like this.  When the movie finished, my packed theater erupted into spontaneous applause.  Kevin James embodies his role with a perfect combination of gusto, machismo, earnestness, dopiness, and heroism. 

And, man, can he ride a Segway.

Idiocracy (***½)

Posted on October 5th, 2008 in Movie Reviews,Politics by EngineerBoy
We Are Not Men

We Are Not Men

Idiocracy is the latest film by Mike Judge, who also created Office Space.  It was released in 2006, playing in only a handful of theaters with no advance publicity of any kind, and it quickly made the jump to DVD.  However, if there is any movie in recent memory that SHOULD have played endlessly at the multiplexes of America, it was Idiocracy.

As we here in the United States drown in a downward spiral of reality TV, processed foods, bombastic advertising, mindlessly large corporations, zombified workforces, and borderline retarded elected leaders, Idiocracy perfectly describes the water with devastatingly funny, sadly accurate satire and wit.

The story revolves around Joe (Luke Wilson), a current-day soldier who is selected, along with Rita (Maya Rudolph), to participate in a year-long human hibernation study.  However, while they are in stasis, the people in charge of the super-secret study are arrested for unrelated reasons, and Joe and Rita are forgotten about – for 500 years.

When they awaken they are greeted with a future where Joe, initially selected for his averageness, is now the smartest person in the world.  You see, as the movie explains, with no natural predators man has not evolved to favor the most intelligent problem solvers, man has instead evolved to favor promiscuity and dumbness, because that combination leads to the most babies, and the absence of poverty, disease, hunger, or hardship means that those offspring continue to survive and reproduce, causing human intelligence levels to decrease with each passing generation until mankind has reached the point where it can no longer maintain the technology of society, and the collapse of civilization is imminent.

One example of this devolution is that a huge company has signed an exclusive agreement to replace the water in the nation’s water supply with their sports-drink, called Brawndo.  So, everywhere you go the water fountains and faucets supply Brawndo instead of water.  Unfortunately, even the portions of the water supply used for agriculture are replaced with Brawndo, and nobody in the dumbass future understands that plants need water to grow, so there is a looming food crisis.  All this is fostered by ubiquitous advertising which claims that Brawndo’s got electrolytes, which is what plants crave.  Joe, of course, is confused by the ubiquity of Brawndo, and the future-doofuses simply mock him for wanting to drink “toilet water”, as apparently the only place water is still used is for flushing. 

It actually takes a while for Joe to figure out how long he’s been frozen.  When he first wakes up he’s confused and doesn’t feel well, so he stumbles into a hospital for help.  After a reasonably revolting medical test, he meets with a doctor who gives him his diagnosis that:  “…it says here on your chart that you’re all fucked up, you talk like a fag, and your shit’s all retarded.”  Indeed.

Also, in the future most people have at least one brand name as

Hamlet 2 (***)

Posted on August 30th, 2008 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Rock Me, Rock Me, Rock Me Sexy Jesus!

Hamlet 2 is one of those movies that you simply don’t (and can’t) expect, and I mean that in a good way.  Is it a satire on inspirational teacher movies?  Yes.  Is it a parody of great-but-misunderstood-artist movies?  Yes.  Does it mock innocent-white-girl-falls-for-tough-chicano-gang-banger?  Yes.

Does it insult Tucson?  Yes.  Does David Arquette’s character say less than 10 words in his running cameo?  Yes (approximately).  Does Elisabeth Shue have a small part?  Yes.  Who does she play?  Herself, working as a nurse at a Tucson hospital after burning out and leaving Hollywood behind. 

Does the inspirational teacher go on an acid trip?  Yes.  Is Catherine Keener both a) looking her age and b) still damn sexy?  Yes (pay attention, Hollywood and actresses).

Is there a song in the play-within-the-film called Rock Me, Sexy Jesus?  Yes (see photo, above).  Is it funny in spite of the fact that it sounds like it would be stupid?  Yes.  Is there a song in the play-within-the-film called Raped in the Face?  Uh, yes.  Is it as bad as it sounds?  Uh, yes…and no.

So, if I were reading this review, this is the point where I would probably tune out and go look for some other movie to watch.  However, I would end up missing out on a very original and funny film.  However, the description above sounds like it could be describing a painfully juvenile, unfunny schlock-fest.  Well, this film has all of those elements, but it *knows* it has those elements, and it mocks those elements before turning them on their head and…well…er…raping them in the face, I guess?

Anyway, the basic storyline centers on a high school theater teacher named Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) – the last name is pronounced “marsh-z”, like the word marsh, but with a tiny, quick little zzz sound tacked onto the end.  Coogan plays Marschz as a sort of bastard love child of Tiny Tim, Eric Idle, Pee Wee Herman, and Weird Al Yankovich (try not to visualize).  His story is that from the time he was a young boy in Canada he wanted to act on the stage, and he pursued his dream in spite of the objections (and molestations) of his father.  However, he has come to the latter half of his life and has realized that while he has a pure and perfect love for acting on the stage, he doesn’t have any talent for it.  So, he now finds himself teaching high school theater in Tucson for gas money.

The highlight of each semester is, of course, the staging of a big play.  Marschz typically stages plays based on recent popular movies (Erin Brockovich, for example), and he’s as good of a director as he is an actor, which is that he isn’t.  His nemesis is a young boy who writes for the school paper and gives his plays scathingly bad reviews.  His cohorts are the two (and only two)

Tropic Thunder (***)

Posted on August 25th, 2008 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Tropic Thunder is flat out hilarious.  I’m not a huge fan of Ben Stiller’s ouevre (or his movies), and I can’t recall one of his films I really liked or wanted to see more than once.  Zoolander and There’s Something About Mary were okay, but nothing to write home about.  I barely chuckled at either Parents movie.  I couldn’t watch all of the Museum movie.  Can’t really remember any others.

Suffice it to say I’m not a Stiller fanboy.  I’m still not, but I’m a big fan of Tropic Thunder.  The film is the story of the making of the film-within-a-film Tropic Thunder, based on the book by a Vietnam war vet (played pitch-perfectly by Nick Nolte).  The production is struggling, so the director (Steve Coogan) opts to go for a more cinema verite approach, by taking his actors into the deep jungle and filming them with hidden cameras, while the maniacal effects supervisor (Danny McBride) shell-shocks them with explosions, incoming fire, and other nastiness.

Hilarity ensues, as they say.

First of all, Jack Black’s performance is spectacular – he looks like Brian Dennehy from 20 years ago, if Dennehy had been in the middle of a roller-coaster, hyper-manic, drug-raged, flame-out-spiral.  I can’t think of another actor today who could have pulled of Black’s role with such…conviction?  Robert Downey Jr. plays a dude who’s playing a dude who’s playing another dude, and puts on an acting tour de farce.  And Ben Stiller manages not to upset the balance – his character is the himbo fading action star desperately hanging on the bottom rung of stardom (and apparently doing a metric buttload of pull-ups, judging from his ripped arms).

Things go off the rail for the production when the actors stumble across actual bad guys – a jungle-dwelling drug kingpin and his village of minions.  The storyline follows the expected path from there, with at least some of the actors thinking that they’re still being tormented by the director in order to give better performances, while others have an inkling that they might be in real trouble.

The film represents a pointy stick right in the eye of Big Hollywood, and it lampoons all facets of the movie business.  Keep your eyes peeled for all the cameos, they come fast and furious, with some celebs playing themselves and other playing thinly-disguised self-parodies (and in some cases both at the same time). 

So, if you like movies, and the movie business, and movies about the movie business, and movies about making movies, then Tropic Thunder may be the movie for you.

Oh, and through the course of the film try to keep a running estimate of the budget for the soundtrack – it had to be monstrous…

Skidoo (***)

Posted on August 11th, 2008 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

There have been a handful of movies that have changed me, meaning that they were so impactful that after I watched them I was a different person.  Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, Eraserhead, Full Metal Jacket – films like that.  Now add to the list an unexpected entry – Skidoo.

Skidoo is not like the other films on the list – they are dark, brooding, and profound.  Skidoo is…well, it’s….kind of…hm…like…well…indescribable.  It’s not really dark or brooding.  Any profundity is tongue-in-cheek.  It’s funny, both intentionally and unintentionally.  It has a bizarre story line.

That’s the word for it – bizarre.  If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of this movie.  I hadn’t either until it popped up recently on Turner Classic Movies one late-night/early-morning.  I consider myself a sort of film dilletante – not really a student of film, but a bit more well-informed than the average American filmgoer.  And I didn’t have a glimmer about the existence of this film, which is surprising, in retrospect.

If you are of a certain age and someone were to describe to you a film that starred Groucho Marx, Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Michael Constantine, Frank Gorshin, Peter Lawford, Mickey Rooney, Cesar Romero, Slim Pickens, and George Raft, you might take that cast list, factor in the year it was made (1968), and think you could make an educated guess as to what the film would be like – maybe an undiscovered cousin of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, or something. 

Well, you’d be wrong. 

Skidoo is…overwhelmingly unexpected.  I hesitate to describe it because watching it without any preface is a delicious experience, but I’m more concerned with doing whatever I can to help get a broader audience for this soon-to-be-cult film.  If you don’t want to know the basic plot then blur your eyes and scroll down until the following indented purple text is off the screen:

The basic storyline is that Groucho Marx plays a gangster nicknamed “God”.  He heads up a nationwide protection racket that controls just about all the criminals in the country.  He is a germophobe and lives in hermitic seclusion aboard his yacht, sealed off behind steel doors, communicating with the outside world via teleconferencing (in 1968!!?!?), and spending his time playing bumper-pool with his scantily clad, Amazon-like, willowy, nubian-ish, right-hand girl.

Jackie Gleason is “Tough Tony”, a former hit-man for God who has long-since retired from the biz.  But God reaches out and strong-arms Tony into doing one last hit, or “kiss” as they call it in this film.  Tony is reformed and doesn’t want to “kiss” anybody for God, but he’s backed into a corner.

Carol Channing plays Tough Tony’s wife, and she spends the film sleeping her way up the chain of command to get to God and find out where her husband is and what he’s doing.

Frankie Avalon plays a mid-level mobster who

The Dark Knight (***½)

Posted on July 26th, 2008 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

I am not a Batman fanboy.  I am usually bored and confused by films based on comic books (calling them “graphic novels” is the ultimate in geek denial).  If I recall correctly, I have enjoyed one, or maybe two, of the films in this franchise, but not to any great extent.  I couldn’t really pick Heath Ledger out of a lineup and don’t really recall anything he was in before his untimely passing.

I had also gotten tired of hearing all the hype about this installment, and about the amazing, Oscar-worthy performance by Heath Ledger.  I went in skeptical, to say the least. 

I walked out a believer.

Heath Ledger gives a miraculous performance as The Joker.  The character is completely original, although I kept expecting him to come across as Nicholson (either in The Shining or as The Joker) or as Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), but he didn’t.  Ledger’s Joker has to be seen to be believed.  His performance is absolutely worthy of an Oscar nod, and if I were a betting man I’d say he’ll end up winning.  He’s that good.

Most of the rest of the cast is solid, as well.  Michael Caine is dependable as Alfred, Maggie Gyllenhaal is a refreshing change from Mrs. Tom Cruiscientologist, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman are spot on, and Aaron Eckhart gives a good performance as Harvey Dent.  And, believe it or not, Eric Roberts (yes, THAT Eric Roberts) gives a great performance in a smallish mobster role.  There’s even a pinch of gratuitous Anthony Michael Hall and a fleeting dash of Cillian Murphy.

The weak link in this installment is Christian Bale, unfortunately.  It’s not so much that he’s bad, it’s just that he’s…lukewarm.  Tepid.  Translucent.  As Bruce Wayne he’s simply boring, and as Batman they’ve really pumped up the bass on his growl, to the point where it’s distracting every time he talks through his bared, gritted teeth.  I think the problem with his performance is more directorial than thespian, but his character just doesn’t have the requisite impact for a near-superhero.

It was also distracting how clearly it was seen to be Chicago standing in for Gotham.  They even had a cop played by Ron Dean, who was one of the two Chicago cops in The Fugitive (and then again in Chain Reaction), which simply added to the Chicago-osity of the mood.

The story is, well, simply a Macguffin to get the pot stirred up.  The action is good, the fights are good, and the effects are good, with the exception of the motorcycle, which just doesn’t move realistically (even allowing for the suspension of disbelief necessary for this type of film). 

Also, the ending of the film seemed tacked on and/or cut down.  After all of the machinations of the film, at the very, very end, just before the credits roll, Batman volunteers to be falsely accused of crimes so that he can be hated by the public and pursued by the cops,

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